Howard Zinn

A man has died of whom it can be said that it would have been better if he had never lived, of whom it can be said that it would have been better if his parents had not been allowed to immigrate here from Russia and give birth to him: Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States, a book that reduces this country to one long saga of monstrous racist crimes by whites against non-whites, by rich against poor, a book that has planted in innumerable minds a kneejerk, poisonous hatred of America.

Jews and other liberals denounce the National Quota Acts that drastically reduced immigration between 1921 and 1965, and among other things stopped the great 1880-1920 Jewish immigration, from which this writer is descended. But how many more America-hating Zinns were prevented from entering and being born in this country by that law, one of the most beneficial and necessary in the history of the United States? Yes, as Adam Smith said, there is a lot of ruin in a nation. But how many Zinns can even a great nation endure before it goes under?

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Mike Berman writes:

It pains me to agree with you, but agree I must. Jews who live in the diaspora tend to be a disaffected and alienated lot. They view themselves as on the outside of whatever side there is. The Jews who live in their own homeland have a healthier outlook and there find the means to do what is necessary to ensure their survival.

Mark Jaws writes:

Since I am descended from Russian Jews, I will offer my short opinion about them and about Howard Zinn. Because of their history Russian Jews are the most radically leftwing people on the planet—and perhaps even justifiably so. But letting one of them such as Howard Zinn write history on America and the West, is like letting a member of the IRA write a book on English History. As Mike Berman said, Jews in the Diaspora are an unsettled and uncomfortable lot. Their take on American history is to skew and to screw.

Edward writes:

I take issue with your analysis of what Howard Zinn’s hatred of America should teach us. It is not so much a failure of immigration policy but rather a failure of the Public School system. They had him from kindergarten through senior year of high school. That should have been more than enough time to indoctrinate him with a love of America.

To establish firmly within him an identity as an American.

The public school system today is still failing to recognize its responsibility to build patriotism and a love of America in children. Bilingual education is specifically geared to maintain an identity and allegiance to the ancestral country and an alienation from America. We have learned nothing from our national experiences.

When I was in sixth grade we had a young boy come into the class who spoke no English. I knew his native tongue and acted as his translator. Within four to five months he no longer needed language help. I recently saw a TV program about bilingual education. It said that with the help of millions of dollars of federal spending the bilingual program could transfer a student from a Spanish speaking class in two years to an English class. I thought ” How amazing, two years and millions of dollars to accomplish what a young boy in my sixth grade class could do without bilingual classes in five months”.

Only the government could be this wasteful, foolish and confused about its role in education.

LA replies:

Your argument assumes that assimilation can conquer all particularities and differences. You’re assuming that Howard Zinn was a malleable entity who could be formed into any shape that the American public schools wanted to shape him into. You’re assuming he was a radical by the time he graduated from high school. But maybe he was successfully Americanized during his school years and only became a radical later.

Consider the “secularized, moderate” Muslims living in the West who suddenly turn into jihadists when some emotional or political disturbance occurs that makes them seek out their ancestral beliefs for guidance and identity.

LA writes:

A reader said I’m acting godlike in issuing such a harsh judgment on Zinn and saying he should never have lived.

This is a man who murdered America in millions of hearts and minds, a man who turned the good into evil in millions of minds. I say it would have been better had he never lived.

Go to a book store or library and peruse his book. You’ll understand what I mean.

The truth is that there are Jews who fit the description that the anti-Semites falsely say is true of all Jews: people who hate white gentile society and seek with conscious malevolence to destroy it.

January 28

Roger G. writes:

You wrote:

“The truth is that there are Jews who fit the description that the anti-Semites falsely say is true of all Jews: people who hate white gentile society and seek with conscious malevolence to destroy it.”

Isn’t that the truth. And it’s a damn shame the gentiles put up with it.

Alan Levine writes:

I was a bit irritated with the tone of your comments, and those of Mark Jaws, on the death of Howard Zinn. This is not because there is anything good to say about Zinn. I have read works by Nazis and Communists who had considerably more regard for the truth. Zinn was a throughly despicable liar, so arrogant that he barely even bothered to pretend to be a genuine scholar, and the fact that the People’s History of the United States is widely reprinted and used (or supposed to be) speaks volumes about the depth to which American education has sunk. (I add the qualification only because I have frequently asked students whether they have encountered Zinn’s book, but almost always get blank looks. In the last six years I have met only one student who had read it.) When I reviewed Zinn’s book when it first came out for Chronicles of Culture in 1979, it seemed to me that Zinn was then regarded as something of an embarrassment even among many on the far left, because of his simple-mindedness, his addiction to crude conspiracy theories, and the cranky tone of his chapter on World War II. (Which, by the way, was especially astonishing coming from a Jewish World War II veteran.) Now all of this flies with people who profess to be liberals.

I do not, however, agree with the lacerating tone of the comments about Russian Jews you made. I myself am also from that background, and it seems to me that you are exaggerating the extent of their radicalism and also their extremism. Zinn was a freak among that group and would have been regarded as such among any group until quite recently. Whatever he may have said for tactical purposes, he showed no identification with Jews at all….

LA replies:

“he showed no identification with Jews at all…. “

Irrelevant. Many Jewish leftists do not identify with Jewishness and are anti-Israel. The Jewish Communists explicitly renounced their Jewishness. Does that mean that Jewish leftism and Jewish Communism are not real phenomena in history? These leftist “non-Jewish Jews” keep emerging from the Jewish people. I am bemused when Jews try to deny the undeniable connection between Jewishness and leftism.

Alan Levine replies:

I concede my last point was basically irrelevant. I am, however, not silly enough to deny the obvious connection between Jews and leftism. But it does seem to me that Zinn was an atypically extreme case, and particularly for Jews of his generation.

January 31

LA writes:

At a blog, Dennis the Peasant, a commenter writes:

[Lawrence Auster] didn’t just p*ss on Zinn’s grave, he practically took the corpse out and sent it to the gas chamber …

February 1

LA writes:

David Horowitz at FrontPage Magazine has this undated comment about Howard Zinn:

Spitting on Howard Zinn’s Grave?

The other day a reporter from NPR called me and asked me for my comments on the death of the lifelong Stalinist and propagandist Howard Zinn. I was a little reluctant because I knew that whatever I said, legions of unscrupulous myrmidons on the left would jump on it and say I had spit on Zinn’s grave. I also knew that while I was interviewed for ten minutes, out of what I said only a 20 second sound-bite would make it onto the air. I don’t begrudge NPR this selection. That’s what their obit was and would have to be, a collection of sound-bites.

Sure enough the bottom-feeders at FAIR pounced on my bite and accused me of spitting on Zinn’s grave. So here’s what I said that was cut from the interview. I’m not putting quotes around it because it’s from memory, but it’s pretty close to some of my remarks and captures the sense of others: No one should celebrate the death of another human being unless they are child-molesters or murderers. Howard Zinn lived to a ripe old age (87), and bad human being that he was, I wouldn’t begrudge him an extra few years; he’s done about as much damage as he could.

Howard Zinn was a Stalinist in the years when the Marxist monster was slaughtering millions of innocent people and launching his own ‘final solution’ against the Jews. Put another way, Howard Zinn was helping Stalin to conduct those slaughters and to enslave all those who had the misfortune to live behind the Iron Curtain. Howard never had second thoughts about his commitment to leftwing totalitarians and never flagged in his political commitment to freedom’s enemies. In the years since Stalin’s death, Zinn supported every enemy of the United States in every war, and devoted his writing talents to every socialist tyrant including Mao Zedong who killed 70 million Chinese in peacetime because they got in the way of his progressive agendas.

When the Cold War was over and freedom had won—thanks to all the political forces and figures (e.g., Reagan and Thatcher) that Zinn opposed—Zinn continued his malignant course. He supported America’s enemies right to the end including the Islamic Nazis whose first agenda is to finish the job that Hitler started and then to impose a totalitarian theocracy on the infidel world.

Zinn’s wretched tract, A People’s History of the United States, is worthless as history, and it is a national tragedy that so many Americans have fallen under its spell. It is a political cartoon which even the socialist magazine Dissent described as an intellectual fraud, which it is. All Zinn’s writing was directed to one end: to indict his own country as an evil state and soften his countrymen up for the kill. Like his partner in crime, Noam Chomsky, Zinn’s life’s work was a pernicious influence on the young and ignorant, with destructive consequences for people everywhere.

Here is one of the comments following Horowitz’s article:

Steve LeMaster says:
February 1, 2010 at 7:44 pm

Mr. Horowitz won’t say it,but I will.

Howard Zinn was an evil person. The venomous bile he regurgitated to young kids and the ignorant Hollywood elite (Ben Affleck and Matt Damon to name two) has done damage to this countries children, that I equate it to raping innocent minds.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 27, 2010 09:05 PM | Send

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